Relics of Bygone Eras - The 3-5-10 Year Business Plans


Related Fun Fact of the Week: Did you know that approximately 250,000 people participated in the 1963 civil rights march in DC, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I have a Dream" speech?

There was a day and age when business cycles were predictable. You could plan for a certain annualized growth, keep expenses in line, and while competition existed, you could plan for it and global disruption was never a factor. Now business cycles and windows of opportunity are often hours and weeks, not years.

Now don’t get us wrong, planning is important or chaos can ensue….but rigid financial, operational and sales plans that don’t allow for ever-changing dynamics in our business world today can be the death of an organization. The corporate landscape is littered with organizations unwilling or too slow to change direction and their long range business plans. Blockbuster, Sony Betamax, Blackberry, Compaq Computer, and the list goes on. All had very solid 3-5 year business plans…at least until the world changed around them.

Dr. Martin Luther King was one of the greatest leaders of our time. But did he deliver a “I Have a Plan” speech? No, he delivered a “I Have a Dream” speech. While plans were created along the way, people were motivated and mobilized by Dr. King’s dream and clear vision for something better in the future, not by a financial or logistics plan.

So, as you look to your organization or departments future, rather than spending massive amounts of very valuable resources in developing 30-40 page strategic business planning documents that get circulated to a few, create a compelling and mobilizing vision where people will gladly step up and plan with you on how to achieve that vision and will be committed and engaged to creating and sustaining a long range purpose, versus a long range plan.

Does your organization have a dream for the future that everyone can connect to and rally around? Or does it have 3-5-10 year business plan documents and PowerPoint’s that sit on desktops or in binders on shelves? Create the dream and the plans will follow suit.

Want to know more on the future of organizations? Contact us or take a look at our Organization Performance Reimagined whitepaper.


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Cornerstone Learning is a performance and leadership consulting organization that has worked with clients all over the world. Our focus is working with individuals and organizations to create performance solutions that deliver top-tier results by inspiring, enabling, and developing employee-led, leader supported, and organization enabled performance. We are able to successfully deliver this through multiple products and services such as employee surveysonline training, performance assessments, and performance coaching. The goal at Cornerstone Learning is to assist our clients in enabling success by developing a dynamic and customized pathway to deliver role model organizational and personal performance.